Which insect bites are there?
There are several insects that can bite or sting. For example, there are mosquitoes, fleas, horseflies, gadflies, bees, wasps, ticks and gadflies that sting for defense or to feed on blood. The poison they give off causes itching and pain or swelling.
What do you notice about an insect bite?
Stings from a bee, gadfly or wasp are often immediately painful and cause swelling. The bee leaves the stinger after a bite. After the bite, mosquitoes, fleas or ants give a swelling that starts to itch. A horsefly bites and injects poison into the skin that swells and is painful. A tick often stays where it has bitten and sucks blood.
Is an insect bite dangerous?
A sting or bite can be painful and swell, but it is not dangerous and it often goes away on its own. However, some bites or stings can cause an allergy that can sometimes be very serious.
What do you do about an insect bite yourself?
With a bee sting, it is best to remove the stinger. It sometimes has a poison sac on it and be careful not to squeeze it empty. You suck the poison out or you use a poison extractor. Disinfect the wound with alcohol. If a wasp has stung you also remove the stinger and you can suck the venom out with a venom extractor. Tick bites should be removed as soon as possible. For further policy, we refer to Thuisarts.nl. For pain and swelling you can put a cold wet cloth on it or cool it with ice or a cool pack. Take paracetamol in case of many complaints. You can use Deet to avoid being bitten. For pain, swelling and itching we have Azaron or Nestosyl. If you are allergic, antihistamine tablets can help.
When do you go to the doctor if you have an insect bite?
Go immediately to your GP if:
- you have been stung in the mouth or throat
- you are familiar with an allergy to insect bites and have been ill from it
- you become short of breath
- swelling in areas other than where you were stung, or of eyelids or lips
Also see a doctor if:
- you get itchy everywhere
- the skin around the stab or bite wound becomes increasingly red and enlarged